“The edge is where we come right up against ourselves and what we can do and be.

It is the boundary between where we are and where we grow, the place of comfortable discomfort, where all growing and healing happens.

The edge is the point in every pose when you are still within your capacities but are challenging yourself to go just a little bit farther. Stepping up to this edge and daring to leap is how you break through and thus break with old ways of being.”

Baron Baptiste, Journey Into Power

Photo of Kathryn Budig via Pinterest.

Photo of Kathryn Budig via Pinterest.

Last night I practiced falling in love with my yoga practice. The path there was simple: finding my edge over and over.

There was something electric about the work I did on the mat. I felt the energy present between my hands in samasthiti as we chanted om gam ganapataye namaha, my heart filling up. I could feel myself connect with the other yogis in the room, with the teacher, with a collective oneness in that first om.

Even during the warm up postures—core work while lying on my back, and a few rounds of cat/cow—I kept asking myself, Where is my edge? What does it feel like to be gentle in the process of finding that place where I am reaching for something more?

Flowing through sun salutations allowed me to move deeper. Each repetition felt like an awakening, a compassionate unfolding, an expression of my Self in the moment.


Photo via Curly Fishtree.

Photo via Curly Fishtree.

When a pose became hard, I breathed more. Instead of backing away, I allowed myself to feel into the sensations – the physical burn of muscles working, the emotional release of surrendering to the moment, the cognitive clarity of becoming wholly focused on only the breath.


Something clicked. I held side crow on each side for 5 breaths. I rose into bird of paradise fluidly, feeling ease and space in the posture. Headstand was a relief, a breakthrough into peace, simply a chance to breathe. During the third round of wheel pose, I straightened my elbows and knees. And when the teacher told us to come down, I still wanted more.


Photo by 1 Shot Photography, via Hearts Expanding.

Photo by 1 Shot Photography, via Hearts Expanding.


As I settled into savasana, I could feel energy moving up and down my spine with each inhale and exhale. Sushumna Nadi, the center channel. I could feel new space, new light.


I pushed through my edge last night. I trusted the words of my teacher, not resisting any moment or any pose. At the moments when I wanted to give up or allow myself to fall out, I stayed. I breathed deeper. I felt the heat in my body, the feelings of curiosity and elation. I noticed the thoughts coming and going, not attaching myself to them; instead, I stayed present in the body.


Photo via Pinterest.

Photo via Pinterest.

Today as you practice, I challenge you to challenge yourself. What are you holding back? What more can you give? What more can you soften?

At the moments when you want to give up, stay. Give yourself the gift of finding your edge.







About the Author: 

Rachel Stroud is a yoga blogger at Alive in the Fire. She is a passionate vinyasa, Dharma, Bhakti and yin practitioner, and is currently completing her 200 hour vinyasa teacher training at Leap Yoga.

In yoga we learn that change is inevitable and everything is temporary. Sometimes change comes easy, and other times it’s a bit more difficult to swallow. This is definitely the case with the latest change at Leap – our amazing manager Jesi is leaving us – making an incredible life change and relocating to Portland, Oregon to be with her new husband Richard. Of course we are THRILLED for Jesi. There is nothing better than being with the one you love. But when we think of the “face” of Leap – Jesi’s beautiful, smiling face immediately comes to mind. She allows students and staff alike to feel at ease and at home at Leap. We will miss her love, her light, her words of support and compassion, but we send her off on her next chapter with a huge hug, endless gratitude and unwavering love. Please take a moment to read a this farewell letter from Jesi, and stop by to give her a hug before she heads off. Her last day in the studio is tomorrow, July the 3rd.


My Darling Leapers,

In the summer of 2011 I found myself a year into running my design company, and I mean really running. I had several clients with large publication projects, plenty of deadlines, and more work than I, nor my employee, could handle. I had reached a level of success with my company: an office on the third floor of the Tomken building, a nice steady flow of projects and revenue, and a corporate filing status. Not too bad for a girl who had earned her business degree the year prior. I, however, was unhappy, and unsatisfied. I would look out my window from the third floor thinking, “Is this it? There’s got to be more.”

The only place that I seemed to be fulfilled was on my yoga mat. It was the only place I could actually breathe.

One night, as I checked my email (which happened pretty much every 10-15 minutes for me at this point in my life, even while in bed), an email from the first yoga studio I had ever visited, Yoga Shala, caught my eye. It was from Tyler Langdale about his upcoming teacher training. The way he worded it touched my heart and spoke to my soul. It was like he wrote it directly to me – which was a long shot since I had never been to any of his classes. In that moment, I imagined myself in his yoga teacher training, then as a yoga teacher. All of the stress of my business melted from my being, and I knew I had to do it.

Then the fear set in. My mind would cry out, “You haven’t practiced long enough to be a teacher… You should use your money on more important things, like your business – you don’t even know if you’ll see a return… Everyone is going to think you’re crazy, business gal to yogi…” I let my mind babble on like this for a good couple weeks, long enough to miss the deadline for teacher training. Though in any moment, the thought of the training excited me, bringing a tinge to my stomach. Finally, I broke down and emailed the Shala, asking if there was still room. There was, and when Tyler called to interview me I told him straight out, “I have some fear about this, which means I probably should do it.” The week leading up to the training left my belly tinging constantly.

It was in this training that I found myself. I learned how to drop my ego, get out of the story, and attempt to put ease and peace into my life (all of these are a constant work in progress for me). It was also in this training that I met Cathy, for which I am forever grateful. Without hesitation, she brought me in to the family that is now known as Leap. Our first volunteer meeting was in the unfinished lobby that was still awaiting the giant beacon-graced desk that now anchors this studio.

As I went from volunteer to keeper of Leap, I have had the luxury of watching so many people grow, unfold, and blossom before my eyes (myself included). I have had the privilege to teach the next generation of yogis in my kids classes, series, and camps. I have received what I deem to be abundance – the friendship, warmth, love and acceptance of others through knowledge and expression of one’s self.

I tell you all of this, as that sneaky tinge has found it’s way back into my belly. My husband and I returned from our honeymoon to find a seed we had planted three years ago manifested itself into an opportunity. This opportunity will allow us to spend everyday together, rather than every other week. The opportunity is riddled with some sadness (and a tinge of fear), as we have to move out of the state in order see it to fruition.

We will begin this new journey – adventure rather – the first week of July. My heart is heavy leaving this studio and all of you Lovely Leapers. Many of you have opened your hearts, shared life’s struggles, and forever impacted my view of the world. I feel such gratitude that I have been able to spend the last year and a half in this space, with you.

Cathy, Corey, Butch and Michéal have been amazing, giving me nothing but blessings and love. If you find yourself needing more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to Corey or Cathy.

What I have found, reflecting from that third floor office, is that yes, there is more. And I found it at Leap. Thank you for all of the abundance you have brought into my life. I feel truly blessed and beyond grateful.